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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Christ and the Human Soul
GA 155

In these lectures Steiner shows how the influence of Christ has been operative from the beginning of human existence, long before the inception of the Christian religion. The ancient mysteries brought about will and wisdom; Christ brings love and individuality. The lectures impress on us how vital it is for our time that we strive to imbue our feeling life with the Christ Spirit.

Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer. In the Complete Edition of the works of Rudolf Steiner the volume containing the original German text (together with the texts of other lectures) is entitled: Christus und die menschliche Seele. Über den Sinn des Lebens. Theosophische Moral. Anthroposophie und Christentum. Translation by Charles Davy.

Lecture I July 12, 1914
The two goals of the evolution of the human soul. Implanting of freedom in man and the gift of being able to distinguish between good and evil, beautiful and ugly, true and false. The scene in Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. Man's relation to sin and guilt and the coming of Christ to the Earth. Christ and ancient Judaism. Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, himself led by Christ although he did not recognise Him. Fundamental note of the Old Testament is Will; of the pagan Mysteries, Wisdom. The darkening of the soul and the summons: “Man, know thyself!” Immortality and passing through the gate of death with consciousness. Reference to the words spoken to Job. Love and individuality. Through the Mystery of Golgotha a super-earthly Being united Himself with the Earth.
Lecture II July 14, 1914
Ideals and assured reality. Souls after death and their ideals in earthly life. Christian Morgenstern and the impulse received from him out of the spiritual world after his death. Spiritual Science enfilled with Christ will be a seed in the evolution of humanity. Spiritual forces flowing into human forces were necessary to enable the project of the Mystery Plays to be carried through. If Christ permeates the fruits of our knowledge, they work not for ourselves alone, but for the whole of humanity. “Not I, but Christ in me.” The relation of Christ to the human soul; its effects in man's life on Earth and between death and rebirth.
Lecture III July 15, 1914
The concepts of sin and guilt and of Karma. The malefactors on the right and left of Christ on the Cross. Lucifer and Ahriman: on the one hand opponents of the Gods and, on the other, necessary for the whole cosmic order when their forces operate on their legitimate level. Judgments which hold good for the physical plane must not be supposed to hold good for the higher worlds. Christ a Being of the kingdom of Heaven, not of the kingdom of the Earth. Individual sin is not exempt from karmic justice, but Christ blots out from Earth evolution as a whole the debt and objective consequences of sin and guilt. The meaning of the “forgiveness of sins”.
Lecture IV July 16, 1914
Truths in themselves contain life-force. Christ became related to death because evolution of the universe made it necessary that a God of the upper worlds should be leader of Earth-evolution. The four ethers. Christ came from regions closed to man as a result of the Luciferic temptation: from the regions of the Music of the Spheres (chemical ether) and of Cosmic Life (life-ether). These regions were to be restored to man through the coming of Christ to the Earth. The meaning of the “Resurrection of the body”. The Earth period will be followed by the Jupiter period, when two races, the good and the evil, will differentiate themselves. A Venus-existence will follow that of Jupiter, and again there will be an adjustment through the further evolution of the Christ-consciousness.